Tuesday, October 27, 2015

List of Happy | Part 10.

Hard to believe it's been almost six months since my last "List of Happy" installment, so I've decided to hop back on the train. Remember to enjoy this last week of October!

- Celebrating this muffin man's adoptiversary yesterday. I've been able to love on this sweet muffin man for one whole year already. He isn't a perfect dog, but he is a perfect companion, and the best snuggle bug. 

- Confirming almost all of my letters of recommendation, which means I'm that much closer to applying for grad school in January.

- Today is gray and gloomy, which is everything I've been wanting for weeks now. The day has been spent getting in a quick workout, eating soup and sushi, and working on my letter of intent while drinking cinnamon flavored coffee. All the yes.

- Allowing myself a little bit of shopping, which I haven't really done in months. It was basically me just buying three of the same shirt in different colors from Marshall's.

- My best friend threw a "witches brew" this past weekend, which is basically just a Halloween party where we all dress up as witches and do witchy things. And by that I mean we did tarot cards and drank sangria and ate our weight in witch's caviar (bean salsa).

- Committing myself to a healthier(ish) lifestyle. I'm working for tank top ready arms and flawless skin, so bring on the weights and the vegetables. I'm not giving up wine, though. Sorry, that's just not a thing...

- Sipping on hot apple cider each and every week in October. So sugary, but so good, and so necessary when pretending it's fall in Florida. (Disregard healthy lifestyle point above).

- Getting an IKEA armoire for the price of "free" from our moving neighbors. If it's free, it's for me, and if it gives us extra storage space (especially for Ryan's boats that he chooses to call shoes), it's definitely for me.

- GOING TO TAYLOR SWIFT'S 1989 TOUR ON HALLOWEEN! Excited is an understatement. We bought our floor seats last November, back when I wasn't a poor college student. It's been so long that it practically feels like a free concert. Hard to believe it's already here!

What's been making you happy this week?


Thursday, October 22, 2015

If you don't ask, you'll never know.

There is no such thing as a stupid question, right?

I don't know if I completely buy into that. As a server, I can certainly tell you that I've heard a lot of stupid questions. For example:

"What's the yellow rice?" Ummm...I'm pretty sure you just answered the question within your question.

But that's another story for a different day.

As of late, I've been the queen of getting discontinued items for free by asking stupid questions. 

About six months ago, Francesca's was having a BOGO 50% off sale, which included perfume. Over the last year, I'd been silently pining after their Indigo Waters scent, and when I didn't see it on the shelf, I asked "do you not sell Indigo Waters anymore?" The sales associate immediately bent down and started rummaging through the stock shelf as I followed up with, "don't worry about it, I'm not buying it today, I'm just curious." She stood back up and presented me with a full size "tester" bottle and said, "we can't sell it anymore, so you can have it for free!" A $30 bottle of perfume...for free. 

About two months ago, I was in Francesca's again (whoops) and as I began chatting with the associate, I mentioned my perfume story. Two minutes later, she presented me with another bottle of the same perfume. For free.

About five minutes ago, I was putting my order in with the barista at Starbucks. I wanted a sweet treat, so I asked the barista what happened to their chocolate frappuccino cookies. She said they were discontinued but she would check the back...and 30 seconds later I was presented with these five chocolate frappuccino cookies...FOR FREE. 

Most importantly, this last week I took the plunge and did something that I was utterly afraid to do: I emailed two of my professors to ask them for a positive letter of recommendation for me for graduate school. For months, I'd been beating myself up about completing this task. As a post-bacc, my options for letters of recommendation are extremely limited, and despite the fact that I used to blatantly ask people for money for a living, the thought of asking professors to help make me look good for graduate school left me shaking in my boots. But I did it. I asked. And you know what?

They said yes.

Case in point, always ask. Ask the stupid questions, ask the silly questions, ask the personal questions. Because if you don't ask, the answer is always no. And if you don't ask, you'll never get free perfume. 


Monday, October 19, 2015

On time.

[Random photo from the wedding we went to this weekend...never a dull moment with this guy] 

If you know me personally, you know that this post will most likely having nothing to do with being "on time," because I'm never on time. Unless it's class, work, or a wedding, I'm almost always 5-10 minutes late to everything. I've actually had a friend tell me that something was scheduled an hour earlier just so I would show up on time. Embarrassing.

We've all heard the saying, "you have just as many hours in the day as Beyonce." While I'm more of a Taylor Swift kinda girl myself, I couldn't agree (is that the right verb?) with this statement more. Having said that, I'm guilty of acting like I "don't have time" for things. Between classes, working, and racking up observation hours, it isn't entirely untrue. However, I could do a much better job at prioritizing my time. For example, I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I've come home from class or work with the intention to accomplish "all the things!" and you know what I end up doing? Sprawling out on the couch, scrolling through Instagram, watching House Hunters reruns and doing a whole lot of absolutely nothing.

If I had all the time in the world, or even if I just prioritized my time a little better, this is what I would do:

-- Make my bed every single morning, throw pillows and all.
-- Bring the dogs to the bark park every morning with a hot cup of tea...who am I kidding, I can't navigate those boneheads whilst carrying a hot drink.
-- Write in my personal journal. Sometimes, you just can't put all of your thoughts and feelings and ideas and worries on the internet, ya know?
-- Fill out my "one line a day" journal. This should be way easier than I make it out to be.
-- Finish a rough draft of my letter of intent for grad school. Because it's my future and all. No big deal, though.
-- Bake a new recipe every week...and maybe even create my own! How do food bloggers know exactly how many eggs/how much baking soda/how much of anything off the top of their heads?! HOW.
-- Get some air in my bike tires and find a trail. Especially now that Tampa's weather is cooperating.
-- Go somewhere solely for the sake of taking photos with my Nikon. 
-- Work out five times a week and meal prep healthy meals. THIS. All of this. The healthy lifestyle needs to make a comeback ASAP.
-- Read read read. Maybe this one has less to do with time and more to do with the books I'm reading? I'm more than halfway through Paper Towns by John Green and I feel like it is just soooo booooring.

I could say I'm going to make more of a conscious effort to do all these things but I like to keep it real around here, and I'd be lying if I said that was the case. Sometimes life gets in the way, and maybe that's an excuse. Okay, it completely is. With that being said, I'm challenging myself to make my bed every day this week! Little steps, right?

What would you do if you had all the time in the world? (Realistically speaking, of course. In fantasy land, I would obviously travel everywhere...EVERYWHERE).


Friday, October 9, 2015

Moving forward.

Growing up, and even as an adult, I never realized the impact of encouraging words. Maybe it's a good thing, because it means my childhood was so chock-full of "great job"s and "I believe in you"s and "you can do it"s that I never felt a void. I'd never felt rundown or sad or upset enough to truly need to hear those things; praise just felt like a given.

Months ago, when I made the decision to quit my job and go back to school, I felt unstoppable. Despite the fact that my life was about to change in a drastic way, it felt right. I was finally rid of the job I'd grown to hate, and I was making what felt like huge strides to start a new career, a new way of life. I was on the way to do something that mattered. 6 months later, I'm still on that way...and it's harder than I ever imagined it would be.

My savings that took me years to build is cut in half. The credit card I used to pay off every month, no matter the statement, is quietly easing me into debt. I feel more swamped in schoolwork and classes than I ever felt in my undergrad. It's become a habit to decline invitations to most outings and togethers because I simply don't have the time. Not to sound like a brat, but it's been a difficult adjustment for me.

Especially considering the fact that I could have a well paying job tomorrow if I decided to throw the last six months of hard work to the curb. And sometimes I consider doing just that.

Then I talk to my mom, who reminds me why I began this journey in the first place...because the work matters, and it changes lives. I talk to my boyfriend, who never hesitates to remind me that he's here for me every step of the way. I talk to my dogs, who lick my feet and my face and, you know, the inside my mouth if I make the mistake of breathing. I like to think it's their furry way of telling me "we gotchu, keep awn' keepin' awn."

The point of my rambling is that the little negative voice living inside my head has never been so loud. Every day feels like a struggle, and the little negative voice consistently reminds me that I can quit anytime I want to; that I was never cut out to do any of this, anyway. It's times like those that I need the most reassurance. I need the "great job"s and the "I believe in you"s. I need all the words that used to feel like noise. Because some days I still feel unstoppable, and motivated, and excited for the future ahead...but many days, I feel rundown, stressed out, and afraid.

While it's so easy to get caught up in that negativity, it's more important to move forward. This, too, shall pass, and it isn't forever. Now, more than ever, I'm determined to stay positive, because this matters. Now, more than ever, I need to stay true to myself, and stick to my guns. Not for anybody else...for myself.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October To-Do List!

Is it just me, or do 30 day months go by a lot faster than 31 day months? That one extra day really does make all the difference, because September came and went in a flash and here we are, six days into October already. Strangely enough, Florida is already starting to feel like fall. And by "fall," I mean it's been 65 degrees for about 20 minutes in the morning and then borderline 90 by 11 a.m., so there's that. Close enough.

Like most "basic" girls, I love October, and I like to think that October loves me back. October means the beginning of the holiday season, which seems to put me into the most chipper of moods, even when I'm at my lowest, which has been more often than I'd like to admit. I digress.

At the beginning of the summer, I posted a "summer to-do" list. It's almost embarrassing how many things I did not accomplish this summer. Despite the fact that it was my first summer in two years without a full time Monday through Friday job, I spent a good chunk of the season prepping for the GRE and picking up doubles at the restaurant. I never ended up floating down a river, and I read something like three books instead of ten. Whoops?

This season, however, I plan on getting down and dirty with my to-do's. I'm going to take this list by storm. I'm going to make all the pumpkin things and drink all the apple cider and burn all the fall scented candles! Although we're already a week into the month, I've put together an October to-do list, and I'm hoping to actually conquer it. Here goes:

  1. Visit a pumpkin patch. For the last two years, Ryan and I have talked about carving pumpkins together and we have yet to actually do it. This will be the year.
  2. Watch Hocus Pocus. Obviously.
  3. Go to a Halloween party. One of my best friends is in the midst of planning a Witches Brew at the end of the month, and I can't wait! 
  4. Go to Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens. I didn't get a chance to go last year, and I'm dying to go this year. Roller coasters and haunted houses until 2 a.m.? Sign me up.
  5. Drink hot apple cider at least twice a week. Tis the season, you know.
  6. Make pumpkin cinnamon rolls on a chilly morning. We haven't had a real chilly morning quite yet, but it'll happen eventually, and I plan on making the apartment all sorts of cozy when it does.
  7. Celebrate our two year anniversary. Two years ago on October 12th, Ryan took me on our first date. While we didn't officially start dating until December, my heart knew he was something special from the moment I met him, so I hold October very near and dear for that reason.
  8. Try a toasted graham latte from Starbucks. Because as much as it pains me to say it, the new and improved (and actually authentic) PSL just isn't doing it for me this year.
  9. Finish my book and start another. Easy as this may sound, it feels like quite the feat. I've been reading Paper Towns for two months now and I can't seem to get past the halfway mark. What should I read next?
  10. Simply appreciate the season. Like many people, I adore autumn and all that comes with it, and I get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that it's easy for me to lose track of what's important to me.
What's on your to-do list? Is it actually starting to feel like fall where you live? Let me know so I can start living vicariously through you!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up: The Kearns Wedding!

So this happened this weekend! One of my best friends (and my old roommate!) got married last night to the love of her life. As Kaylee's roommate, I feel like I had a special peek into the anxiety-ridden adventure known as wedding planning, so it was such a wonderful experience to watch her wedding dream become a reality on the big day.

The morning-of involved wearing matching floral robes given to us by the bride, drinking endless mimosas and feeding each other fruit for the sake of photographs. We cried a lot and laughed even more. I made a conscious effort to look around and take in every moment, because I knew it would all be over in a flash...and it was. The evening was spent under twinkly lights in what felt like real "fall" weather. There wasn't a drop of rain, and there also wasn't a dry eye in the house (err, in the garden) while Kaylee and Ryan read each other their vows. It was indeed a night to remember.

It hasn't even been 24 hours yet and I'm already depressed because it's all over. Besides her older sister Brittany, I hardly knew who these girls were a year ago. Fast forward to post-all things wedding related, and I can officially stop calling them "Kaylee's friends" and start calling them my own. I mean really, how cool is that?

Alas, it is back to reality. I plan on doing a lot of nothing tonight in preparation for another crazy week ahead. Who told me it was a good idea to go back to school again? WHO?!

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